UMEZ Mertz Gilmore Seed Fund for Dance

Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone

Deadline Friday, April 21, 2023 at 5 pm EDT

The UMEZ Mertz Gilmore Seed Fund for Dance is an initiative to invest in the originality, insight, and potential that exists within the grassroots dance community in Upper Manhattan.

Accepting applications for projects happening between June 1, 2023 and October 29, 2023

About the UMEZ Mertz Gilmore Seed Fund for Dance

The Seed Fund for Dance is a grant program designed to support creatives with exceptional dance or choreographic talent, who exhibit a distinctive voice, and whose career path would benefit from the recognition and visibility that this award offers.

The program will provide $5,000 grants to support 8 dance projects taking place in Upper Manhattan from June 1, 2023, to October 29, 2023. Funding is intended for dance-centric projects, ranging from folk/traditional forms to contemporary and socially engaged artistic practices. These projects must be available to a public audience and can be concerts, performances, festivals, or other ventures that foster community engagement through dance.

Eligibility: The Seed Fund for Dance invites proposals from individual dance artists, ensembles, collectives, and nonprofit organizations with budgets of $250,000 or below in their pursuit of a project that expresses their artistic vision.

Program funding is generously provided by the Mertz Gilmore Foundation.

The UMEZ Mertz Gilmore Seed Fund for Dance program is administered by the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation (UMEZ) with promotional support from the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), and Dance/NYC.


Cycle 3

Guidelines, application FAQ, and full application available online: February 27, 2023

Technical assistance request period: February 27, 2023 – April 21, 2023; Email

Application deadline: April 21, 2023, at 5 p.m. ET

Adjudication: May 2023

Grantee notification: May 2023

Eight (8) Grantee projects: June 1, 2023 – October 29, 2023*

*Grantees are required to submit a final report no later than fifteen (15) days after completion of all project activities.

Grantee orientation period: May 2023

Applicant feedback period: May 2023

How to Apply

Review the Seed Fund for Dance guidelines and application worksheets to apply. All applications must be submitted to UMEZ’s online submission platform, Submittable. Incomplete applications, hard copy submissions, and applications received after the stated deadlines will not be considered.

Guidelines and Worksheets


Listing expiration: April 21, 2023.